Aaargh, why the f**k is Warren behind?

Another couple things in Brown’s favor:

  • He was elected to the Senate just two years ago, in Ted Kennedy’s seat. There’s still plenty of momentum from that.

  • He doesn’t trip over the “OMG he’s a horrible conservative” issues that would get liberals up in arms. NOT tea party. NOT anti-gay (helped repeal don’t ask don’t tell for instance). NOT anti-prochoice (says Roe v. Wade is settled law). NOT a converative mouthpiece. NOT 100% GOP partyline.

  • He’s likable. He’s military (been in the national guard for 30 years. Serving the country, unlike most war-happy republicans).

Brown has been a big surprise for me. He came in during the Tea Party rah-rah and I expected him to be a nut. He’s instead been, comparatively speaking, pretty reasonable. He’s still far right of my personal politics, but I get the sense that I could have an honest policy discussion with the man.

That gives me mixed feelings about this race. I very much want Warren to win, as her politics align more closely with mine, but at the same time we need more of the Republicans in the Senate to be like Brown, so losing him would suck.

Ya, Brown is kind of what we all SAY we want out of our politicians… that is, not a crazy partisan hack.

He’s, by all accounts, extremely moderate… Outside of Mass., he’d probably be considered a democrat.

This leads to crazy right wingers saying he’s a RINO… what’s really weird, is that here we have left wing folks calling him a RINO-INO, which is amusing.

Just FWIW 1/32 puts my family back to around 1800. On the other hand, your points stands. Even that close in time there are several branches of my family tree that are lost by that point.

By family legend and history I would be 1/8 native American, but hard pressed to “prove” that in any serious way. It’s not like the tribes were taking census. I could produce old photos of old ladies with prominent “features” but anybody with internet access and/or photo shop could do the same. In my wife’s family there are several cases of infants appearing on doorsteps. How you classify that is a mystery.

Well, that’s cool then.

The shred of ethnicity thing is much abused. In my second bout of grad school I knew a girl who was on a full scholarship for Hispanics, because she was 1/16th Argentinan…Jewish. The other 15/16ths were other kinds of Jewish. Both her parents were psychiatrists and they owned a seaside house in LA. Somehow I don’t think she was the demographic intended when the scholarship was founded. ;)

What’s the relevance of her being Jewish?

Presumably that a few generations ago, Jewish populations scattered to various parts of the world were more inwardly focused than co-mixing with the locals. Thus to the VERY limited extent that this person had a connection to Argentina in her ancestry, it was probably not of the cultural/ethnic/biological sort that might have been envisioned by those setting up the scholarship.

To the extent that one might support programs that favor African-Americans, would one also favor someone who was 1/16th descended from a Boer who had immigrated to the United States long ago?

Not Hispanic — family of European Jews that moved to a Latin country.

I have relatives who have claimed we are related somehow to the Kennedy’s and are also related (way back) to King Richard the Lionhearted. You think maybe there are scholarships out there my kids could use.

No but you could place a claim on the English throne.

Presumably that in the U.S., Jews no longer face the discrimination they did in the first half of the 20th Century and have been incorporated into the construct of “white” ethnicity, and that even if one of this woman’s great great grandparents (1/16th) grew up and lived in Argentina and spoke Spanish and all that, this woman wasn’t culturally/socio-economically the equivalent of the (probable) intended recipient of the scholarship, i.e. a person whose parents or grandparents were Spanish-speaking immigrants in this country.

It’s been a bad decade or so for Republican moderates: either you’re ousted in the primaries by the ultra-conservative wingnuts for not being nutty enough; or you’re ousted by your Democratic opponents in the purple-to-blue states (see also: Connie Morella, for whom I voted in `02).

I thought about that but heating Windsor Palace is probably really expensive.

And if CK2 taught me anything, there would probably be a plot to assassinate you.

Not the point. The scholarship question hinges on hispanic vs. not hispanic. Why is it relevant that she’s Jewish as opposed to some other non-hispanic ethnicity?

That happened to be her specific, non-Hispanic ethnicity — so I specified it, since I was talking about her. I’m not sure what you think would be gained by not being specific…or what you think my being specific might imply. I could have said something like “Swedish, Uighur, Bantu, or other non-Hispanic ethnicity,” I suppose. I’ll keep that in mind for next time.

Why is (and I know it can be but doesn’t have to be) Jewish an ethnicity when being catholic isn’t? Don’t you think many people consider being Muslim an ethnicity now?

Maybe my definition of “ethnicity” is wrong?

Isn’t “ethnicity” considered to be a pretty broad term, encompassing not just phenotype/biology, but culture? Catholicism and Islam are pretty much just religions that inform cultures. Judaism is likewise just a religion. I think “being Jewish” goes further because it’s generally understood to mean having biological ancestors that originally lived in the area that is modern-day Israel, and certain language/cultural features picked up in the intervening centuries like Yiddish, Ladino, etc., as well as, of course, Judaism itself in some form, practiced by fairly recent ancestors.

There aren’t any hard rules or definitions about ethnicity, but enough soft ones: generalizations that can help facilitate conservations and policy dealing with culture, xenophobia, etc. Basically, ethnicity is a group of people who belief they share a common ancestory reinforced by sharing common religion, language, customs, and physical attributes.

For “Jewish” in particular, there are good historical reasons to refer to an immigrant group by their religion instead of their geographical origin. The vast majority of American Jews are “Russian Jews,” though really they came from what is modern day Poland. They emigration was encouraged by increasingly harsh policy coming from the very anti-Semitic Czarist court, largely encouraged by the even more anti-Semitic peasant population.

However, Christian (Catholic) Polish peasants also emigrated in large numbers to the US. These two groups did not believe they shared a common ancestry, so clearly represented two separate ethnic groups. So, as a shorthand, this group just got labeled Jewish. On the flipside, the Russian/Polish Jews themselves did not distinguish greatly between which side of the future border their ancestors came from.